A limited-time "free" promotion of an ebook is an effective way for authors to build awareness, grow their audience, earn online reviews and climb bestseller charts. Often, a free day will positively impact actual sales in the weeks following the promotion. If an author can promote a second book at the end of the free book, sales may increase dramatically. This promotion works for authors who have pricing control of their books. If you are traditionally published, you must work with a publisher to make this happen. This page contains a sample promotion process flow for a free day promotion.
One Month Prior to Promotion Day
Schedule free day advertisements
- BookBub (MOST impactful. If they reject your book, tweak and try again.)
- Kindle Books and Tips
- Digital Book Today
- Free Books Daily
The channels above are ones I have used and can personally recommend. You may view a sampling of other options here: Book Advertising Channels Spreadsheet
Update your ebook file to include a conversion page after last page of story
Ideally, this would be a teaser for your next book with a lick to click and buy right then. If you don’t have another book out yet, the teaser could be an offering for a free short story or non-fiction article. This should click-through to a page where readers must first enter their email address before downloading the free content.
Schedule your free day (or days) on your Kindle Direct Publishing dashboard
If you are a member of KDP Select, this is remarkably easy. If a publisher controls your book rights, or if you publish your ebook on other platforms that make you ineligible for KDP select, you will have to contact your publisher or research solutions to figure out how to offer a free download day.
Prime your platform
Keep building your audience! Use your best practices to grow your social media accounts, collect email addresses, publish quality content and engage with your audience.
Partner with bloggers and authors
Reach out to other bloggers and authors to coordinate reviews and promotions to go live the day of your free day promotion. You may use a blog tour service to organize much of this for a fee.
Store up community karma
Join online communities on various platforms and offer purely help content that doesn’t self-promote in any way. Retweet and re-post other author’s promotions and reviews. Give, give, give so that when it’s time to make your ask, folks are ready.
One Week Before Promotion Day
Confirm scheduled advertisements
Sign up for Amazon Associates and create an affiliate link to your book
Use this link in all of your promotion posts and messages. You might be surprised by how much you can earn in affiliate sales when your readers add a couple for things to their cart when shopping on Amazon.
Send content in advance to bloggers and authors to post
The most compelling content is not that which screams “DOWNLOAD MY FREE BOOK”. Clever content marketers offer a more subtle approach. Provide incredibly compelling content your readership would love and then end with a note about your free day promotion and easy link to click. For example, if you are publishing a historical fiction novel set in New Orleans, you could offer a post about “Most Notorious Bars in the French Quarter.” If you are publishing a memoir about your solo hike along the Appalachian Trail, you could offer a post about “Five Things I Learned About Love After Three Months Alone in The Wild”. Tangential, yet relevant content will get you the most clicks.
Prepare your graphics and promotion posts
You’re going to be busy posting and sharing on promotion day. Make it easy on yourself by creating content ahead of time you can copy and paste.
Create an email to send to your general list
Create an email to send to your friends and family list
Make this one a little more personal and include social media posts they can easily copy and paste on their own networks to help you out.
Keep building your social media karma
Promotion Day - Hooray!
Post immediately on your personal networks.
Include a request to pass the news on. They’re your friends and followers for a reason. They love you. They want to know about your promotion and many will help spread it around. Get that ball rolling right away. Tip: Remember to use your Amazon Associate link to collect affiliate fees!
Schedule addition posts throughout the day.
At least three on twitter and one on each of your other networks. Make sure you schedule enough “give” content to balance out. Sick to a ratio of at least three “give” posts to every self promotion post. One twitter, use hashtags such as: #freeebook, #ebook, #kindle, #bookpromo, #amreading, #free, #freekindle, #indiepub, #selfpub, #amwriting
Send out email blast to general list and friends and family
Add “free” to your book tag on Amazon.
Pin a picture of your lovely book cover on Pinterest with a message and link to the download.
Post your book link on the kboard free book link thread.
First time on kboard? You’re in for a treat! However, get in and get out quick today. You have a book to promote!
Post in book promotion groups on Facebook and Google+
Many of these are linked in this very helpful article: 10 Last-Minute Free Book Day Promotions
Would you like this in a printable form? Click here to download a PDF of the Free Day Book Promotion Checklist.
Still want more help? This worksheet was featured as one of the lessons in my class How To Build Your Author Platform in 30 Days. If you are just starting out as an author and have no idea where to begin, this program will walk through the steps you need to take to establish your author platform. If you have already started building your author platform and establishing your identity as a professional author, you will learn how to grow your audience, optimize your platform to reach readers, and craft strategies to help you meet your publishing goals. You can purchase the on-demand version of this class here.